Pembroke PoisedPembroke start the Oxford Summer Eights today defending both headships. Their toughest challenge will be in the women's divisions and comes from a formidable New College. With little to choose between most of the top women's crews, few are likely to achieve a bump at the top of the first division. For the men, even a powerful Oriel look doubtful to retake the headship from Pembroke.
There was no change at the head of the men's and women's top divisions on the second day of rowing. Before the last race, a minute's silence was held in memory of Emily Harris, a member of St Catherine's third eight, who was killed in a road accident in Oxford on Wednesday afternoon.
Magdalen end long waitMagdalen College ended 50 years in the wilderness by winning the men's headship of the four-day Oxford University Summer Eights that ended on Saturday. They were the only crew in the top division to win blades. Nothing compared to the meteoric rise of Queen's III in the men's sixth division: starting in eleventh, they made three bumps, an overbump and a rare double overbump to move up five places and into the fifth division.
New College, who caught Pembroke on Friday, comfortably rowed over on the last day to finish head of the women's first division.
Pushing the boat outThey have become class conscious at Magdalen College, Oxford, which won the summer eights for the first time since 1954. By tradition the team celebrates by burning the boat, but Anthony Smith, the president, has decreed that the boat should got to a state school. Perhaps Laura Spence's North-East comprehensive?
Pembroke started the week's racing 1st, but were not to finish there, ending up 3rd on the river. Oriel bumped them on the first day a few boat lengths from the finish to reclaim the top spot that they had lost the previous year. However, it was Magdalen who were to end the week at the top, having bumped Exeter, Pembroke and finally Oriel on the Friday to regain the Headship for the first time in 50 years. There were no blades in division 1, but New and Balliol also managed to go up 3 places throughout the week, while Christ Church and Lincoln both ended down 4. Meanwhile Wadham managed to get involved in the bumping action, changing position on the river for the first time in 17 Eights races and making it into the bottom of division 1. Lower down the divisions blades were awarded to St John's, Worcester, LMH amd Wadham M2 who all went up 4, Jesus M3 who went up 6, and Queen's [M3] who managed a massive 10 bumps.
At the top of women's division 1, Pembroke's reign came to and end, being bumped by New on the Friday. Elsewhere at teh top of the women's divisions, St Edmund Hall went up 6 to finish the week in 3rd, and Queen's came into the 1st division, going up 5 in the 4 days, meanwhile St Catz ended the week with spoons, finishing at 11th in division 1. Lincoln W2 were one of only a handful of women's crews to win blades in 2004, ending up 7 at 7th in division 4. Merton W2, Lincoln W2, LMH W2 and Oriel W2 all ended the week down 4.
|B:||Richard Mawdsley||John Hampden GS|
|4:||Reuben Johnson||U Glasgow|
|S:||Ewan Davis||Merchiston Castle|
|C:||Heather Chapman||Hills Rd 6th Form|
|Coaches:||Angus & Archie McChesney,|
|& Tom Parker|
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